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  • Kids' wars: Bullying, now and then

    "She’s stupid and ugly!" shouted one of my third graders in an outburst of rage and tears. She sat hunched over, fuming, pointing her back directly at another of my students who had wronged her in some mysterious way I didn’t manage to understand. "Shut your face!" retorted the supposed perpetrator. In these moments, which happen about once every other class, I remember that childhood can really suck sometimes. Being the responsible adult in the room, I want to help diffuse this tension that has engulfed two of my students. I tell them that those comments are unacceptable, that they…

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